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Sunday, July 21, 2013

When eggs are the main event

Sunday morning kind of eggs:
Perfectly over easy with goat cheese, green chutney, sliced chicken, and caramelized red onions

In my house, we have eggs for breakfast on the weekends.  When I say eggs, I mean perfectly over easy eggs.  When eggs are the main event, over easy is my absolute favorite way to eat them.  Scrambled eggs are only acceptable in a breakfast burrito or in fried rice.
What I love about over easy is that it feels like a gift.  I like to eat around the yolk to build up the excitement, and when I can't handle it anymore, I polk the middle and watch the warm dark yellow/orange gooey yolk ooze out.  I can then use the other spectators on the plate to sauce up the gift that is pouring its heart out.  Sometimes some of the yolk wants a panoramic view and stays put on my lips for the grand finale... the lip licking.
I can go on and on about this.  To make a perfect over easy egg takes skill.  Nothing upsets me more than when one of my yolks breaks in the pan before arriving as a wrapped package on my plate.
I've noticed a few things that never fail me during my Sunday morning ritual.
1.  Eggs need to be fresh, free range and organic if possible.  They shouldn't accidentally break in your hands (unless you're a crazy brute).  Then should not float if you put them in water.  Don't use old eggs if you're planning on a liquid yolk.
2.  Eggs need to be room temperature before cooking.  The yolk will less likely give in if it has been out of the fridge for 10 minutes before hitting the pan.
3.  Pan needs to be very hot.  Don't crack your eggs into a cold pan.  Who does that?
4.  Garnish only after the flip.  It avoids things like cheese sticking to the pan and breaking your masterpiece.
 I didn't think it could be so passionate, but I get as much enjoyment out of preparing as I do out of eating.

Sunny side up eggs pretty much follow the same rules as 1-2-3, except I like to turn the heat down after about 1 minute, then garnish with some nice casera or arriera salsa and cilantro.  In the photo I had added some cheese from Auvergne that melted nicely into the whites.

Wednesday evening kind of eggs:
Almost hard boiled with yolks still creamy and a bit of Szechuan pepper together with raw beets, green chili, and rice, wrapped in romaine leaves to avoid utensils.

Eggs in a salad or for dinner in my house almost always have this form.  I usually eat them cold or at room temperature, and I like to keep them intact.. not chopped up and unrecognizeable.
To make an almost hard boiled egg, I gently place them in a pot and fill it until covered + 2 to 3cm with water.  Then I turn the heat on high and wait 12-15 minutes.  12 is when I want them less cooked than pictured.. a little oozy.  15 is when I want them congealed.  After cooking, I run cold water on them and let them chill until ready to eat.
Peel under cold water.. the water (if you're lucky) finds its way under that thin membrane around the egg where the shell will almost naturally come off.  I only just recently learned that and it is a radically efficient method.
This gives you a delicate white and a melt in your mouth yolk.

Treat your eggs with respect.
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